The Reality Of Where The Lions Are
By the end of 2021, the foundations were laid for the Detroit Lions, and we got a general idea of what they would look like going forward. In the draft, the Lions were able to further bolster their core of young players, picking up both perhaps the class’s best receiver in Jameson Williams, and edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, who will likely be the face of the franchise under Campbell.
And suddenly, almost overnight, you can see where the Lions are going with this. Williams and St. Brown are a nice pair of wide receivers. When fully healthy, Detroit boasts one of the NFL’s most well-oiled machines in their offensive line, highlighted by standout center Frank Ragnow. D’Andre Swift, again, when healthy, is an electric back who can add dimension to any offense that he’s a part of. The Lions are cooking something, and it actually smells pretty good! But they’re missing the key ingredient.
They have no quarterback to speak of.
I would love to say that the Lions have a stew going up there in Detroit, but in reality, it’s more like the thin cabbage soup from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. At the risk of mixing metaphors, Jared Goff’s career has been like learning to ride a bike, but every time you try to take the training wheels off, he falls flat on his face. And now, he’s a teenager, and still has the training wheels on from when he was six years old. It’s embarrassing.
Goff showed next to no promise as a rookie under head coach Jeff Fisher, but his career was promptly saved by coaching savant Sean McVay in Los Angeles. McVay’s training wheels even helped Goff and the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance, but his flaws were laid bare in Detroit in 2021. Dan Campbell is a good football coach, but Sean McVay he absolutely is not.
Until the Lions can procure a quarterback that allows them to fully open up their offense without fear that he’ll do something extremely goober-ish and weird, they’re stuck in the mud. This offense is begging, crying out for a quarterback with good decision-making skills. A point guard who, among all the super-athlete skill position players that Detroit now employs, could smoothly operate the offense and make plays when needed. Jimmy Garoppolo fits this description well, I must admit, but he doesn’t fit the Lions’ timeline for success at all. Instead, Detroit should look to the NFL Draft once more. Because, once again, the likelihood of them hitting the over of more than six wins feels, to me, quite slim.